An extract from a letter by Benjamin Morgan Palmer, to a friend about letter writing, May 16, 1866:
The best letter is that which contains the simple outpouring of feeling and thought, such as would spring to utterance in the freedom and abandon of conversation. No matter if it does ramble from topic to topic. This license of gossip is the privilege of fireside chat, and is the charm of correspondence. Never fear, then, to give your pen all the liberty of the tongue, for which at best it is only the sorry substitute.
The Life and Letters of Benjamin Morgan Palmer, by Thomas Cary Johnson, Banner of Truth, pp. 371-72).